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Beyond WindrushRethinking Postwar Anglophone Caribbean Literature$
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J. Dillon Brown and Leah Reade Rosenberg

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9781628464757

Published to University Press of Mississippi: January 2017

DOI: 10.14325/mississippi/9781628464757.001.0001

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John Hearne’s Plantation Fantasy

John Hearne’s Plantation Fantasy

Chapter:
(p.145) John Hearne’s Plantation Fantasy
Source:
Beyond Windrush
Author(s):

Kate Houlden

Publisher:
University Press of Mississippi
DOI:10.14325/mississippi/9781628464757.003.0009

In the 1960s, George Lamming and Sylvia Wynter dismissed the highly successful novelist John Hearne, arguing that his work was weakened by its nostalgic focus on the plantocracy. Their assessment shaped scholarly opinion until the present. This chapter departs from Lamming and Wynter by claiming that Hearne’s novels offer an importantly nuanced depiction of the middle class as well as an important vision of the Caribbean as part of a hemispheric American culture stretching from North to South America. While suggesting the critically misunderstood value of Hearne, however, the chapter ultimately argues that after his first novel, Hearne’s focus on an Afro-creole planter class – depicted with an apparently unconscious nostalgia – constitutes a failure to engage with the region’s political present and future.

Keywords:   John Hearne, Nostalgia, Planter class, Middle class, Hemispheric

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